Mediterranean journalists experience the challenges of sea level rise and wetlands in Sardinia

The IV meeting of environmental journalists from news public agencies in the Mediterranean consisted in a field trip to the coastal wetlands of Oristano (Sardinia), an area which is expected to submerge by the year 2100.

Oristano wetlands (Sardinia, Italy)

In the context of rising temperatures in the Mediterranean, wetlands stand as some of the most vulnerable ecosystems in the region.

From 25-27 October 2019, a media trip organized to the area of Oristano (Sardinia, Italy) aimed to raise awareness on the current situation in Mediterranean wetlands by offering journalists a tangible example of the impacts of climate change in one of the most vulnerable coastal areas. 21 journalists from 14 national news agencies, as well as freelance environmental and science editors from the region were provided with the latest information about wetlands and climate change. The goal was to help the group understand the importance of these currently threatened ecosystems, particularly when it comes to climate change.

A new story for Mediterranean wetlands

Moreover, journalists learned about the work that several organizations have developed in the last years to build resilience of these fragile ecosystems and enhance the conservation of coastal wetlands in different countries. These efforts have focused on restoring damaged habitats, encouraging sustainable water use and reducing the impacts of water abstraction, pollution and coastal development on wetlands and related marine habitats.  The actions are being implemented in 4 pilot sites which are representative of different and complementary Mediterranean contexts: Oristano, Sardinia – Coastal lagoons; Ghar el Melah, Tunisia – Coastal lagoons and dune system; Ulcinj, Montenegro – Salt pans; Buna River, Albania – Lower delta. 

Additionally to the 4 pilot cases actions, other two initiatives to improve scientific knowledge and restore saltpans in Portugal, Spain and Turkey, and  disseminate information on wetlands in Mediterranean islands are completing an ambitious initiative implemented by 15 organisations with the support of MAVA Foundation.

This press trip was prepared in order also to provide information about this MAVA initiative on wetlands in the region. These pilot sites are also supported by the “Off Your Map” campaign on coastal wetlands.

This media trip – organised by the IUCN Centre for Mediterranean Cooperation in collaboration with Medsea Foundation and Medwet, and with the support from Efeverde -  is an activity promoted as part of the MedGreenPlatform Initiaive built on the cooperation of environmental journalists from the Alliance of Mediterranean News Agencies (AMAN) and several international organisations working at regional level in the region such as the IUCN-Med, the Union for the Mediterranean, Medwet, WWF-Med and UNEP/MAP.

 

For further information: Lourdes Lázaro

 

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